Research suggests that diverse and inclusive organisations increase creativity, teamwork and success. In 2021 with so much talk centred around diversity, it is still clear that many organisations are failing to create space for their diverse talent to succeed.

As someone who spends a lot of my time championing Black entrepreneurs and professionals and working with leading organisations on how to recruit, retain and attract Black talent, there are number of things I believe organisations can do for Black talent to succeed.


Organisations Black success
Left Image – Authors of ‘Twice As Hard: Navigating Black Stereotypes and Creating Space for Success’ – Raphael Sofoluke and Opeyemi Sofoluke.

Using some of the key themes and chapters from my book ‘Twice As Hard’ written alongside my wife, I have put together 7 steps organisations can take to create space and boost Black success in the workplace:

1. Challenge Stereotypes

We discussed in Twice as Hard the many challenges Black professionals face in the working world.

Code switching, imposter Syndrome, microaggressions are just few challenges Black professionals face daily at work.

Organisations must create a culture of standing up to microaggressions and racist behaviour.

Too often many people fear that by standing up for themselves, standing up for others and challenging stereotypes – they risk losing their job. Organisations must take complaints seriously and listen to any accusations raised by Black professionals.

2. Championing your Black colleagues

Black professionals are often in the racial minority at work. Being ‘the only one in the room’ is a common feeling for Black professionals in white spaces.

Organisations should look for opportunities to champion their Black professionals.

A good way to do this is by nominating high performing Black staff for awards either internally or externally.

Awards help with retention, when someone is nominated for an award it highlights to them that they are being noticed and are not the invisible person they feel they are at work.

3. Promotion and Pay

A major study highlighted that Black professionals were twice as likely to be turned down for a pay rise.

It’s not a legal requirement to publish pay-related data based on ethnicity or race in the UK but companies should review pay to ensure Black professionals are not being underpaid in comparisons to their white counterparts.

There are zero Black CEO’s in any of Britain’s 100 largest companies, there is clearly a problem with Black people reaching leadership positions in UK organisations.

If organisations are truly serious about diversity, they will ensure that they make opportunities for Black talent to develop and reach leadership positions within their organisation.

Organisations Black success
Organisations should regularly do surveys with employees to track progress on how Black professionals are feeling in the workplace. Image Copyright – Unsplash.

4. Recruitment

Organisations need to revaluate how they are recruiting Black talent, are you using the same recruiters for every role?

Organisations need to think out of the box and look for talent through other means such as shows like the UK Black Business Show, Women in Tech etc.

It’s also important that organisations create equitable hiring processes to ensure that there are no unconscious biases when hiring candidates. Having a diverse interview panel will help in doing this.

5. Employee Feedback

Any business looking to gain insight into their customers often use surveys.

Organisations should regularly do surveys with employees to track progress on how Black professionals are feeling in the workplace.

Getting this feedback will allow them to implement things, change or address concerns coming from Black professionals at work.

6. Senior Leadership Buy In

It is important for Senior leaders to show passion for supporting the Black community, they need to set an example which others will follow.

If the people at the top are not championing inclusivity for Black professionals at work, there is no way it will trickle down the organisation.

This is imperative in creating space for Black professionals to succeed.

7. Allyship

Organisations must promote Allyship and encourage those who are not Black to better learn and understand Black culture.

Allyship training and programs on how to better support Black colleagues can be used to educate others on black culture.

Post By – Raphael Sofoluke, co-author and founder, UK Black Business Show

Images Copyright – Unsplash / Authors own / edited by I Am New Generation Magazine


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